Chapter 18: Bonfire Party
That night, the bonfire party, as promised by Cui Yingyu, was very lively. Everyone gathered in the public square in front of the Lord’s Manor, and built large fires with firewood. Groups of people gathered around them, singing and dancing.
Yingyu’s Lingbo Dance wowed the whole town. It was a soft dance, with a light step, like clouds floating in the air, and also like sunlight dancing on the wate. It made her look like a fairly in the waves floating along via the dance. It could be described as the shorts steps of lingbo captivated anyone who saw it.
General Shi’s sword dance was also wonderful. His sword was like a white snake, hissing in the winds. It moved like a dragon, sometimes heavy, sometimes light, hitting like thunder and moving like lightning. It was a case of a silver light from the square could pierce a chest of someone from miles away.
Not to be outdone, Elder Dexian, together with the original villagers from Zhao village, arranged a pole dance. The percussion instruments had a strong rhythm, with crisp, high-pitched sounds, and were very lively. Bursts of laughter mixing together with the light and sound of bamboo flutes conveyed the mood of the people. The celebratory music showed their happiness, stirring up the whole of Shanhai Village with the joy and happiness of the dance.
At the climax of the evening, Ouyang Shuo sang a modern version of ‘Luo Shen Fu1’:
_Luoshui River in the east, legends spread through ages, a paradise in human world._
_In the dreams I see, a woman of heaven, tripping lightly like a startled swan._
_Six dragons, carriage of clouds, carried her back to the high heavens, leavings tales behind._
_When the tales were told, people would say, it was a dream of Xiang King 2. _
_The dream ended, tears soaked towels, flowed down my cheeks._
_Her youth untouched by time, yet human and God have different path, only earrings stayed as souvenir._
_Wind blew and time flies, historians records and wondered the anonymous._
_When they ask today, what is this memorial temple, built in riverside?_
_An art of Goddess Luo, to ease and comfort my heart._
_The scent she left behind, her image in my mind._
_Wind blew and time flies, the universe turned from nothing into everything._
_What is love, only to drive human insane, and succumb goddess._
_An art of Goddess Luo, who still sings the poetry lines?_
_The river flows regardlessly._
The people of Shanhai Village, including Ouyang Shuo and General Shi, were all displaced people and destined to meet together. A simple bonfire party that reduced the pain of everyone’s displacement helped pull them together. The celebration helped cement the feeling that Shanhai Village was really their home now.
“System Notification: Congratulations to player Qiyue Wuyi for the success of the bonfire party! The villagers appreciate the hospitality of their Lord! Morale of your people has increased by 5 points!”
Ouyang Shuo really didn’t need to see the damn prompt from the system. He was immersed in the lively atmosphere of the party, and now it had reminded him that it was all only a game.
Unfortunately, it was now late into the night, so he returned back to his room, and logged off.
When he came out, it was already 9 AM. This time Bing’er had already gone to school on her own, and Sun Xiaoyue was naturally also long gone for class. He was too lazy to go downstairs to get breakfast, so he fried up two eggs and drank a glass of milk for a simple breakfast.
Opening his handbrain, he found that he had new email. Opening it up, he found that it was an invitation letter from his original junior high school. The letter had been sent by his class president Yuan Ping, who had invited him to a reunion party.
The gist of the letter was that since graduating from junior high, the class had not gotten together for a long time. During the Spring Festival this year, a class party was going to be held in Guifang Park. He was hoping that everyone arranged their own trip ahead of time, we must attend, etc. and so forth.
Thinking about it, it really had been seven or eight years since he had seen the rest of his class from junior high. Ouyang Shuo couldn’t even recall the names of many of them, the memories were already fuzzy.
At the time, if there was nothing particularly important going on, Ouyang Shuo decided that he would go and participate. After all, this was probably the only reunion they would have. A year later, they would be boarding a starship, and if they were going to ever meet again, it would be after many, many years.
Anyways, there was still some time until the Spring Festival, so it wasn’t worth worrying about. Opening up the game forums, Ouyang Shuo took a look at the trending posts of the other players.
At the top of the discussion posts, ‘Shanhai Village has broken the monopoly of the Six Tyrants of Handan, claiming the sixth promotion to Second grade Village in China!’
Ouyang Shuo browsed through the comments, dumbfounded at the mess, not knowing what to say.
1st poster: ‘I bet Qiyue Wiuyi is a secretive great family’s descendent!’
2nd poster: ‘Bet+1, bottom floor keep at it!’
3rd poster: ‘Invisible ass, the two above have seen too many novels!”
4th poster: ‘Top floor, Ithink he"s just lucky!’
5th poster: ‘Qiyue Wuyi, people want to give birth to a kid for you!’
6th poster: ‘Upstairs is a dinosaur, identification finished!’
7th poster: ‘Mad Warrior of the World, recruiting members, if interested, please contact Mad Warrior quick quick!’
8th poster: ‘Upstairs advertising, pay for advertising, thank you!’
9th poster: ‘Mad Warrior of the World is a garbage guild, don’t be fooled by his recruitment!’
10th: ‘Upstairs, I want to kill you!’
The posts were completely crazy. Ouyang Shuo silently went elsewhere, ready to look at other popular posts. Not surprisingly, after Chun Shenjun, Zhan Lang had sent his trusted subordinate, Blood Wolf into the forum to publicly acquire more of the game currency.
Unfortunately, there was still no fixed market price. Didn’t he see Chun Shenjun’s financial director setting a purchase price at 2 credits for 1 copper?
Another post drew Ouyang Shuo’s attention. Among the Adventurers, someone had finally gotten a mercenary token, and set up the first mercenary group in the game - the Blood Evil mercenary group.
The head of the mercenary group was called Blood Romance, a level 21 chivalrous expert, currently #1 on the player ranks list. They were the first to set up a mercenary group, but still hadn’t received a system announcement in the game. This showcased Gaia’s preference for the players in the lord game mode.
Browsing a bit more, Ouyang Shuo found no other useful information, and closed the forum. It was time to start learning some history and recharge himself.
In the evening when Bing’er came back from school, she seemed a little resentful that her brother had not woke up in the morning to send her off to school. Ouyang Shuo had to pull out all the stops and make a few of her favorite dishes to alleviate her displeasure.
Sun Xiaoyue, seeing Ouyang Shuo placing such importance on logging into the game every day, was also very curious, and asked him, “Hey, this Earth Online game, is it really so fun? I asked around, and none of the students in my classes played that game!”
Ouyang Shuo smiled mysteriously. “This game’s greatest charms are how territory is constructed and its realism, not the kind of no-brainer leveling games that come without effort. Most people are not patient enough to play it. If conditions permit, I suggest you also learn to play it.”
Xiaoyue rolled her eyes. “Please! I’m not like you, able to spend 100,000 credits to buy a game cabin without batting an eye!”
Reluctantly, Ouyang Shuo could only tell her to this extent. If she did not listen, it was passing up her own good fortune. There was no way he could tell her about the truth of the game in his ‘past’. He had no proof to show her that there was a problem, even if she would believe him, nor could he explain how he would know such a thing. He certainly couldn’t tell her that he was reborn from the future!
To make up for not being there in the morning, Ouyang Shuo didn’t get on promptly at night, first helping Bing’er with her homework and reading a fairy tale to her at night. By the time he coaxed his little sister to sleep, it was already 10 PM.
For him, the game was important, but Bing’er was the most important. The game was only a means to success, but it was only meant to help his family. Often enough, people were confused by the appearance of things. Without being clear on means and purpose, people would lose themselves.
Moreover, Shanhai Village had established a complete organizational structure due to his efforts in promoting people. Even if he wasn’t there for a short period of time, his territory would still operate smoothly.
Once logged in, it was time to go out and go to work. Shuo went to the edge of the courtyard, teasing Blackfang.
The horses didn’t really like dogs, so Ouyang Shuo wasn’t assured to let the dog go running around. Usually, it was tied up in the yard. When he was free, he would hold onto it as he walked around the village. With nothing special to do today, Ouyang Shuo’s guilty conscience prompted him to take up Blackfang and visit the village.
Walking around the village and looking at houses that sprouted from the ground, Ouyang Shuo felt pleased and proud. This was the village that belonged entirely to him, and he’d led everyone out of the wilderness to establish it. It had started from zero, starting from the first log put down.
The villagers loved him and were grateful to him for providing shelter to them out here in the wilds. His subordinates respected him, admiring his foresight, and were grateful that they could make use of his knowledge to perform on a higher level than their own skills and talents would allow.
Along the way, the villagers seeing him would smile and bow to him. Ouyang Shuo didn’t act arrogant, and would stop to chat, asking them if there were any problems he didn’t know about. If there were difficulties, they had to be shared, to better help everyone solve them!
Last night’s bonfire party was obviously on everyone’s mind, especially Yingyu’s beautiful Lingbo dance and the momentum of General Shi’s sword dance. Of course, there was also their Lord’s singing; it wasn’t bad, but the tone had been a little strange, as if people were listening to some foreign music.
When he came into the village, he saw that Zhao Dewang was overseeing the building of the first arrow tower with a construction crew. General Shi was standing to the side, studying the work. The General obviously had a great deal more authority in the building of the tower than Secretary Elder Dexian did as he knew more about it. Seeing Ouyang Shuo coming, the two of them quickly came over.
General Shi’s voice was, as ever, quite loud. “Lord!” he nearly shouted.
Zhao Dewang followed behind him, greeting promptly, “Sire!”
Shuo waved away formalities, still in a very good mood. With a smile at Dewang he said, “No need to stand on ceremony. Secretary Dewang has been busy, truly worthy of praise!”
Zhao Dewang still held the title of deputy director of construction, and was naturally intent on proving himself through deeds. His fear that he was not doing well and that his lord was about to criticize him was put to rest, soothing his heart. Modestly he said, “I dare not claim the credit. The reason this tower could be built so smoothly is thanks to General Shi’s advice. Without his guidance, we would not know where to start!”
General Shi was not one to know modesty. Smiling to the side, he said proudly, “This is not that difficult, this is the simplest of arrow towers. I used to lead men in war; those kinds of siege towers were much more powerful!”
General Shi turned and looked at Ouyang Shuo. “My lord, my last observation of the terrain tells me that we should build a tower at each corner of our fence to enhance the village’s defensive power. Unfortunately, there are not enough bows and arrows, nor ways to train the rookie recruits in them.”
Ouyang Shuo nodded slightly, and looked back to Zhao Dewang. “According to General Shi’s words, have the Construction Division coordinate arrangements.”
Zhao Dewang hurriedly said that within two days he could have all of the towers built. Ouyang Shuo nodded his head, and with no more reason to stay, turned to head back to his courtyard, holding onto Blackfang.
_1 Luo Shen Fu _洛神赋 _: An ancient China poem from the era of the late Three Kingdoms._
_2 Dream of Xiang King _ 襄王梦 _: An ancient China romance story about a king and goddess._
*[Long Taos]: side characters in Chinese operas who perform acrobatics and fight scenes
*[12.47 to 13.07]: don"t ask me about the tree sap